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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pakistan draws a bead on Baitullah - Syed Saleem Shahzad

There are reports of a 300 names hit-list floated by Baitullah Mahsud that includes the obvious and the not so...Pervez Musharraf down to Asif Zardari...and some un-named is a backgrounder by Syed Saleem Shahzad:

Mehsud called a meeting in South Waziristan of all powerful commanders from the Pakistani tribal agencies and announced that the minute any attack was mounted anywhere against militants, offensives would be launched against the Pakistani security forces in the tribal areas as well as on the federal capital, Islamabad, and on the leadership and allies of the leading party in the ruling coalition, the Pakistan People's Party.

Further, President Pervez Musharraf and his associates and anyone connected with the storming in Islamabad last year of the radical Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), which was pro-Taliban, would also be targeted. Subsequently, the Pakistani security agencies advised the government to immediately withdraw the forces. The reasoning was that Pakistan could withstand pressure from the United States to act against militants, but it could not win a showdown with Baitullah. A high-level meeting presided over by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani agreed.


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